8 December 2011
Last updated at 09:17
The drought which is devastating the Horn of Africa is particularly bad news for people who derive their livelihoods from their animals, such as Kenya's Turkana people, who may now have to change their traditional lifestyle.
For thousands of years, the Turkana have been raising goats, camels, donkeys and zebu cattle in the arid lands and deserts of northern Kenya. They depend on the rain to provide grazing for their animals, and on their animals for milk and meat.
But as the animals upon which they depend die, some of the one million Turkana people are being forced to abandon their pastoral lifestyle and visit emergency feeding centres for rations and medical help.
Food aid is being used to make up the shortfall in Kenya's supplies, but international donors are increasingly bypassing the state because of government corruption. This man is working in a local aid distribution office.
Rather than just handing out food, which can damage local markets, some international aid agencies are giving drought-hit families emergency cash which can then be used in shops. This offers people the flexibility to buy what they need and stimulates the local economy.
Modern technology is harnessed in even the remotest of places. In this operation run by Oxfam, people give a thumb print instead of a pin number to receive their monthly cash transfer.
Climate change, rising food prices and corruption have all contributed to Kenya's food crisis, and the brunt of it is being borne by nomadic pastoralists like the Turkana. Their way of life was only manageable as long as the rains were regular.
The Turkana people traditionally do not fish, nor do they eat fish. With the cultural emphasis on herds of livestock, fishing commercially has been regarded as something of a taboo - a practice reserved for the very poorest in society.
Aid agencies are now trying to change that attitude. Hunger has created a powerful impetus for adopting a new way of life.
On the shores of Lake Turkana, one of Africa's largest lakes, a European Union scheme encourages pastoralists to turn to fishing to eke out a living.
Because there are no freezing facilities most of the fish is hung out to dry, and fish liver and other offal is used to make oil. Photographs by Keith Morris.